tv House Science Committee Hearing on NASA Budget CSPAN April 19, 2019 2:46pm-5:32pm EDT
and sunday at 2:00 p.m., on american history tv. on c-span 3. working with our cable affiliates as we explore the american story. nasa administrator jim bridenstein testified before the house science and space committee about his agency's fiscal year 2020 budget. he spoke about nasa's priorities. and plans for american astronauts to return to the moon in 2024. the hearing will come to
order. and without objection, the chair is authorized to declare a recess at any time. i know there are many hearings going on, so hopefully, we will gain more people as the time passes. let me welcome administrator bridenstine, and we have a lot to cover at today's hearing, so i will come right to the point. you have stated that nasa's fiscal year 2020 budget request is a good one. apparently, in part, because the president didn't cut your budget as much as he is proposing to cut the rest of america's federal r&d investments. we consider rather misguided and harmful cuts to doe and nsf
research budget. so i'm really not that persuaded. in fact, i find both the massive budget request and your testimony for today's hearing to be a little disappointing. the president's budget request for fiscal 2020 proposed the same ill-advised cuts to important nasa science and education initiatives that it did last year, cuts which congress has already considered and rejected. and fiscal year 2019 appropriations act. we're looking at the space graft and activities, and f-score, the highest ranking aft tro astro physics, the w first and two critical earth science missions, made no sense last year, and we think it doesn't make any sense this year. i have little doubt these cuts will be rejected by the congress
again. yet, it is in the area of human space flight which accounts for half of nasa's budget that i find your written testimony most troubling and nonresponsive. relying on that testimony, i would have no idea that president, vice president pence, who was speaking for the president last week, directed nasa to undertake a crash program to put astronauts on the moon, within five years. by any means necessary. to quote the vice president. and what is the most justification for this program? to quote the vice president again, it is because we're in a space race today, just as we were in the '60s. and the stakes are even higher. moreover, according to the vice president, the chinese have revealed their ambition to seize the moon as strategic high ground, whatever that means.
the simple truth is, is that we are not in a space race to get to the moon. we won that race a half century ago. as this rhetoric about the lunar strategic high ground only begs the question of why. the department of defense with this more than $700 million budget request doesn't seem to share that fear and isn't tasked with preventing it from coming to pass. i have a rhetoric isn't the same as a credible plan and this committee needs to see if there is any substance to this crash program. the vice president's directive to nasa came just two weeks after the trump administration submitted the nasa budget request to congress.
moreover, it is to be completed within the same five-year budget horizon that is contained in the president's fiscal year 2020 budget request. given the absence of an urgent crisis, it would be the heighth of irresponsibility for the vice president of the united states to direct nasa to land astronauts on the moon within the next five years without knowing what it will cost, how achievable the schedule is and how it will impact nasa's other programs. i expect, mr. administrator, for you to provide us this information today before this committee as i assume you provided to the white house on each of those questions in advance of the vice president's speech. the committee needs to know how much money will be needed in each of the next five years to carry out the program. we need to know how much, if any, money the president proposes to add to nasa's budget
over the next five years and the extent to which nasa's other programs will be cannibalized or cut to fund this initiative. we need to know if our international partners will be part of it or simply frozen out as some of the rhetoric would seem to suggest. we need to know if the international space station will have to be shut down within the next few years to free up funding for the lunar crash program. in short, we need specifics, not rhetoric because rhetoric that is not backed by a concrete plan and believable cost estimates is just hot air. and hot air might be helpful in ballooning but it won't get us to the moon or mars. i, like many of my colleagues on this committee, strongly supports nasa. and we want our nation to
achieve challenge and exploration goals like landing humans on mars. if the moon is a useful and necessary way point on the way to mars, then i believe congress will support a sustainable exploruation program that includes the moon. but nasa has to date provided no meaningful road map to mars despite congressional direction to do so. and if you are not able to provide us with credible specifics at today's hearing i think a great disservice is being done to the hard working and dedicated men and women of nasa. they need programs and funding plans that are sustainable and inspiring, not a constantly shifting set of directives. i can assure you that this committee will do its part to ensure that nasa can continue to be inspiring -- be the inspiring leader in space exploration,
science and technology and aeronautics that it has been for the past six decades. and this hearing is just our first step. so i thank you for being here. i know you have read many of the news clippings that we have read questioning what the plan really is for nasa. and i hope that we can get some answers. if there are members who wish to submit additional opening statements you may do so later. i now recognize you for opening remarks. >> thank you. our nation's space program is a source of pride. it exemplifies the pursuit of knowledge, heroism, technical excellence, perseverance. exploration is in our dna and no other nation embraces that gift more than the united states. the trump administration has harnessed our spirit of
exploration by maintaining consistency for major programs like the space launch system and commercial crew the administration is insuring that our national goals to explore the moon, mars and beyond will be achieved rather than delayed. this consistency of purpose has also been demonstrated in this administration's funding request. at first glance, the president's fy 2020 budget request appears to propose a budget from fy '19. however, that does not tell the whole story. year after year, the trump administration has proposed increased funding for nasa, only to have congress appropriate even more than requested. for context, the current request calls for 21 billion while previous administrations proposed a nominal budget of just under 20 billion for fy 20. this administration has added over a billion dollars to nasa's
budget request before congress appropriates final funding. this is a blessing and a curse. as many watching this hearing have heard before. no bucks, no buck rogers. you have to remember the comic strip to appreciate that, but believe me. nasa is getting the bucks. now it is time to deliver. too often programs become complacent when funding is taken for granted. congress and nasa need to work to be good stewards of the taxpayers' dollars. we need to ensure the programs to do things that only government should do. in this particular budget, these agenda items are embedded in this budget. i don't want to dismiss, though, how important the rest of what nasa does is. right now we have the parker
the vice president challenged the nation to return astronauts to the moon by 2024. the current budget request that we are evaluating today does not enable that goal. i look forward to nasa updating their requests so the committee can review those details. aside from the budgetitary unknowns we have a robust proposal. the proposal focuses on the development of technologies that enable future exploration rather than dead end one off technologies. the goal of once again launching american astronauts on american rocket from american soil is fully enabled by this proposal. the budget request plants the seeds for technologies that will be necessary in the future like landers, habitats and in space propulsion. it also proposes exciting new programs like the mars sample return mission. science funding in this budget is nearly $680 million more than nasa planned for under president
obama's last request. this additional funding maintains support for the clipper mission, the mars 2020 rover and the james west telescope. it also supports earth science and priorities from the national academies of science and the foundational research and analysis work that forms the back bone of our space science enterprise. aeronautics funding under the proposal is robust, as well. it supports the demonstration of a low boom supersonic technologies that will hopefully inform regulatory relief of supersonic fly over land. it also addresses hypersonics that are critical to our national security technologies that will enable the air traffic management and allow the safe adoption of uncrewed aviation systems. importantly, the budget request is also responsible. it attempts to rein in programs that defers the start of programs until they can
demonstrate realistic costs. the request funds the maintenance, operation and facilities necessary to enable our space program. all too often these enabling functions are ignored. but we short change these obligations at our own peril. thankfully this request recognizes the role that safety, security and mission services serves to facilitate space exploration, advance science, protect lives and sensitive information. mr. administrator, thank you for your appearance today and i very much look forward to your testimony. >> thank you, mr. lucas. at this time i will introduce our witness. james fredrick bridenstein is sworn in as nasa's 13th administrator on april 23, 2018. prior to his nomination, he served as a representative for oklahoma's first congressional
district in the house of representatives. and during his time in congress, he served on the arms services committee and right here on the science, space and technology committee, as many of you well know. we are delighted to have the administrator back before us today. and we look forward to his testimony on the fiscal year 2020 nasa budget request. he has a history in the space and aeronautics field. he began his career in the u.s. navy flying combat missions in iraq and afghanistan. after transitioning to the u.s. navy reserve he returned to oklahoma where he became the executive director of the air and space museum and the planetarium. he has completed a triple major at rice university and earned his mba at cornell. you will have five minutes for your spoken testimony, but your
written testimony will be included in the record for the hearing. and when you have completed your spoken testimony, we will, again, have a round of questions. each member will have five minutes to question. >> thank you chair woman johnson and ranking member lucas. it is an honor to be back in the science committee this time representing 17,000 of our country's finest employees at nasa. i understand, as the chair woman identified, that things are shifting. i will tell you that we submitted the budget request about three weeks ago now. and in that budget request, there is a very new direction for our country. the president has issued now space policy directive one. he says that we should go back to the moon. i like to say, we should go forward to the moon because the
way we are going to do it under space policy directive one is unlike anything that has been done before. we are not going to the moon to leave flags and footprints and not go back for 50 years. this time we go. the president has said he wants to go sustainbly. this time we are going to stay. he says we are going to go to the moon. we will build a coalition of international partners to go sustainbly to the moon. we will go with commercial partners. we are going to utilize the resources of the moon, in other words, the hundreds of millions of tons of water ice that have been discovered in the last ten years. and then we are going to retire risks. we are going to improve technology and we are going to take all of that for a mission to mars. so that is what is on the agenda here. i will tell you the first step in achieving that is continuing to advance the commercialization of low earth orbit. and we have now seen commercial resupply of the international space station prove to be very successful.
and we are in the midst of watching commercial crew continue to show advancements which has been very exciting. i think many of you in this room saw the crew drag in dock to the international space station a few short weeks ago. eventually by the end of this year, we will be launching american astronauts on american rockets from american soil to the international space station for the first time since the retirement of the space shuttles in 2011. so that is a very exciting thing that we are looking forward to. but that's commercial crew. we have already completed commercial resupply capabilities and eventually want to get to commercialization of human habitats in low earth orbit. we think it is important and i know this committee has doubled down on this importance, nasa should be one customer of many customers in a robust commercial market place in low earth orbit. that includes launch. it includes habitation.
and we want to have numerous suppliers that are competing on cost and innovation and low earth orbit. the reason for this is to drive down cost and increase access and utilize resources given to us by this body to go to the moon sustainbly with our international partners and commercial partners to do things that only government can do. that is what nasa should be doing. and we look forward to advancing that agenda. in this particular budget, these agenda items are embedded in this budget. i don't want to dismiss, though, how important the rest of what nasa does is. right now, we have the solar probe in orbit around the sun. in fact, flying through the solar corona helping us better understand solar flairs and corona mass ejections. to do things that only government should do.
in this particular budget, these agenda items are embedded in this budget. i don't want to dismiss, though, how important the rest of what nasa does is. right now we have the parker continuing planetary missions. as a matter of fact, in the last, i guess, five months now we landed incite on mars, which was an exciting day for the united states of america. in this budget you'll find that mars in 2020 is well funded. you'll also find there is funding for a mars sample return. mars 2020 is going to catch samples, and then after mars 2020, we're actually going to bring samples back to earth. it's important for this country to focus on finding life in another world. i'm looking at my good friend ed perlmutter with his 2020 bumper sticker. astrophysics are important. we're focused on the telescope
that will make this mission possible for the next 30 years. we are on the brink of demonstrating a capability to fly across the united states at supersonic speeds without the sonic crack that can be so destructive to infrastructure and people on the ground. so all of these missions are funded in this budget. we're proud of it. it is absolutely true, chairwoman, that the budget was focused on a 2028 moon landing. we have now gotten other direction from the president to go in 2024, and we are moving rapidly to get you the details you need so that we can, in a bipartisan way, and i've committed to you, chairwoman, and i'm committing to you now. in a bipartisan way, we want to be able to achieve these objectives. with that i yield back. >> thank you very much. we begin with our first round of questions, and i'll start with myself.
we appreciate all you've brought to nasa and i appreciate you being here this morning. two weeks ago -- two weeks after the administrator released the fiscal year 2020 budget request, vice president pence announced that the united states would send americans to land on the moon in 2024, four years earlier than a 2028 goal included in fiscal year 2020 requests. what is the justification for this crash program? what will it cost and how achievable is this accelerated schedule? >> i think it's important for the nation to continue advancing our progress, and as leaders of our country, to demonstrate continued advancement. i think that's ultimately the objective here. i just saw ed perlmutter put up
the chairwoman 2020 bumper sticker. we want to achieve this in 2030. by moving up the moon landing by four years, we can, in fact -- you probably saw the stickler that was requested by this committee -- we have to move resources on another world. we know on the moon there is tons of water. it equals water to drink, water for fuel. it's the same fuel that will power the sls rocket. we need to utilize those resources. remember, when we go to mars, we're going to be there for at least two years. why? because earth and mars are on the same side of the sun once every 26 months. so we need to learn to live and work in another world. the moon is the best place to
prove those capabilities and technologies. the sooner we can achieve that objective, the sooner we can move onto mars. and that's ultimately the objective here. >> when were you first told the vice president was going to get nasa to land astronauts on the moon in five years? were you informed before the fiscal year 2020 budget release, or did he ask for you to provide him information on the analysis regarding the crash programs and costs and the feasibility prior to his speech? >> so the vice president and i had had conversations about accelerating the path to the moon. and we had had conversations about what that might look like, was it feasible, was it possible. then ahead of his announcement, yes, he told me that he was intending to make that announcement, and he wanted to make sure that that was within the realm of possibility. of course i told him i believed
it was. of course, i talked to folks at nasa, and at the end of the day, that's the new direction that we have, and i believe that this is a great opportunity for this agency. i think it's a great opportunity for the country. and i think we can move out on it and achieve it. >> thank you. now, how much funding will be needed in each of the next five years to meet the vice president's 2024 directive? >> so that goes to an amendment of our budget request which we are working to achieve. the amendments for 2024 are all present, so we need to accelerate sls, have a module in orbit around the moon, and then we need landing capability, a descent module and an ascent
module. in order to achieve 2024, we need to take some of those elements and move them forward to achieve that objective. what we're working on now at nasa is compiling the data necessary to come back to this committee, to come back to congress, and ask for an amendment to our budget request and attempt to win the buy-in of this critically important committee and the united states congress. >> thank you. do you think you can achieve that by april 15th? >> i think we can get really close, yes, ma'am. >> thank you very much. my time is expired. mr. lucas. >> madam chair, before i begin my official questions, i'd like to ask to speak out of order and introduce a new member of the committee. >> yes. >> thank you, madam chairman. jamie butler represents the fifth district.
she drives technology progress. welcome to the committee, jamie. you'll find this is a fun committee, and that's not always the circumstances everywhere. thank you, madam chairman. >> thank you and welcome, and when you mention that in any conversation, you get my attention. >> well put, madam chairman. the request from nasa is 20 billion and change, so to speak. they planned to request 19.7 billion in 2020. how does the extra $1.14 billion request scheduled for this year enable science aeronautics? what's the difference in the two? >> the focus now is getting humans to the moon as much as possible. 2028 was based on the budget request, and the intent, of
course, was not just to get humans to the moon but to prove we can live and work on another world. that's really what the extra resources have been applied to. >> continuing down that road, the budget request proposes delaying continued development of the exploration upper stage for the space launch system that along with advanced boosters is necessary to meet the directive of a 130-ton launch vehicle. why is nasa delaying that effort on the capacity? >> mr. ranking member, what we have found is that the development of sls has proven to be more challenging than previously anticipated. so what we have attempted to do at nasa is focus boeing on getting the core stage of sls complete, and then from there we can move to the exploration upper stage. but the key is to be able to launch american astronauts to the moon, and we can do that with an sls core stage and an inner cryogenic pulser stage,
and then we can get around the moon to build the gateway. i agree with you completely. we need an sls upper stage. >> so we're still committed to building the 130-ton launch vehicle? >> yes, sir. in this budget request, the intent was to delay. we have no intent to cancel. we're trying to get sls complete so we can get humans in the vicinity of the moon as soon as possible. >> director, two years ago congress passed the weather research and innovation act which i sponsored and featured yourself and ms. bonomichi. in order to secure data from the private sector that could be integrated into the national weather service forecast. we also wanted to avoid duplication between public and
private resources of data. the goal was to stimulate the private sector to protect lives and property and ensure u.s. leadership and weather forecasting. the fy plan proposes to conduct global satellite system inoculation to inject into the forecast. they are presently supporting documents to noah. how is nasa ensuring they're not competing with the private sector aside from the direction in the 2017 weather act. current remote censoring policy also asks them to rely on censor space technologies for the need of foreign policy, security, et cetera. how are we balancing that
critical product? >> this is an important issue that our nation needs to be focused on. as you are aware, gps occultation data and ingest it in our data systems and numerical weather models and, in fact, derive results that are meaningful. in other words, commercial data is no longer really going to be just a pilot program, but we're looking to operationalize that commercial data because of the work of this committee. for that, i tell you, our nation is grateful. besides the operational use of data from our european partners, nasa is not involved in that. i would defer to my noah colleagues on how they intend to, i guess, work that issue. but know that commercial data is
a critical piece of the mix, and i'm happy to take that and get you a more complete answer after talking to my noah colleagues. >> we'll follow up because we certainly don't want to push private industry out of the spectrum as hard as you and i work to make that possible. >> yes, sir. >> with my remaining minutes, madam chairman, i also have the pleasure to introduce one more member of the science committee. she represents puerto rico which has a large i.t. industry and innovative research. jennifer is also a proud manager of a stem high school and she's excited to work with stem. you have an ally, madam chairman, when it comes to stem. >> thank you, keep them coming. ms. bonomichi. >> welcome back, mr. bridenstine. i appreciate our early efforts to work together.
thank you, mr. lucas, for pointing that out and i hope we can continue to work together supporting nasa and its historic mission and its work force. i understand you have many priorities to balance when writing the 2024 fiscal budget request. i have to say i'm disappointed to see it shift away from the role of appropriations to restore funding to nasa's science mission directorate. nasa has some of the best scientists in the world, and as we face change in extreme weather patterns, we should do everything we can to leverage information from earth-observing satellites to strengthen our understanding of climate change and identify successful adaptation and mitigation strategies. i'm also glad to welcome the new members who have districts that are definitely affected by ocean health. i know that the health of our natural resources, specifically marine resources, is critical. warming waters have been
triggering harmful alga blooms which causes severe problems to marine life, human life and our economy as well and investment to research and predict and adapt to those challenges is important. i'm looking at nasa's mission that could help us understand alga blooms in relation to other events, for example. that's scheduled to launch in 2022 and will improve nasa's knowledge of the earth and atmosphere. however, despite estimated value shown in the 2018 national academy's survey, the thriving planets survey, your budget proposes to develop the search mission and suggests that planned missions from other nasa, noah and other satellites will provide measurements to
establish similar science. it's worth noting that they are known for having the most advanced color instrument in nasa's history. what are the governmental satellite efforts that you say will provide similar results, and is there a consensus from the scientific community that the same data products of the same quality that would have been in the pace mission will be delivered from other missions? and did you consult with other scientific researchers involved with pace before making this decision? >> so that's another important question. know this, congresswoman. as of right now pace is funded by congress, and we are moving out on it very rapidly. it is a good mission and nasa believes in it and we're working very hard to achieve its launch in 2022. it is also true that it's early in the development phase, and when we consider all of the things we're balancing, that was one of the casualties of ultimately making decisions in a
constrained budget environment. but it is also true that there are other missions that nasa have that help us characterize the color of water, specific missions that i can take that for the record and get back to you what those instruments may be and on which satellites. >> did you consult with the scientific researchers involved in the pace mission when making this decision to terminate the program? >> we did. we consult with all of our missions when making these critical decisions. >> i have another question. last congress passed the nasa transition authorization act, to see that the administrator should set priorities by following the guidance provided by the scientific community through the science of surveys. i'm concerned the proposed budget does not align with this principle, especially concerned with earth science. can you explain the lack of funding in your budget request
to initiate missions and the latest earth science survey and based on your fiscal 2020 request, when can we expect missions to be initiated and launched and when will they be funded? >> as of right now, we have the largest earth science budget in the united states. if you look at our earth science budget compared to that of all the other nations in the world, if you add up the european space agency and canada and japan and russia, our partners on the international space station, their gdps are higher than ours, and we're about equal to spending all of that combined. in fact, this particular earth science budget request is higher than five of the budgets that were enacted under president obama, which is a solid, i think, position to be in. i know you and i have talked. my commitment is and will be to do everything possible to make nasa an apolitical bipartisan organization.
i want to drive consensus, and the way we get consensus is to listen to the decadal surveys from the national academy of sciences, and to the best of my ability, i have done that and my commitment is to continue doing that. >> thank you. my time is expired. i yield back. thank you. >> thank you. mr. posey? >> thank you, madam chairman, ranking member for holding this hearing. it certainly is good to know that our days of reliance on others for human access space are limited. great to see you back here, mr. bridenstine, as administrator. >> thank you. >> can you tell us what changes are being made at the space center as we prepare to receive and process the rocket and spacecraft of kfc, what activities are taking place to
ensure smooth staff integration rollout will happen? >> at kennedy, the exploration ground systems are key. of course, having a mobile launcher is key. those are under development and getting very close to being ready. the first sls we have had some delays with, as i've explained. that's why we're so focused on it. in order to achieve getting that sls to kennedy as soon as possible, we have made some significant changes in how we're actually developing it. we have found that -- and we did not know this ahead of time. we have found that the engine section of the sls is on the critical path because of the complexity that was unanticipated, and the challenge is the rest of the sls rocket was dependent on that section being complete before it could be integrated. that was based on a property plant and equipment limitation that we had. so what did we do? we've now purchased new
equipment, i should say new tooling so we can start integrating the oxygen tank with the hydrogen tank, the inner tank and the farings. we can do that in the horizontal while we're continuing to work on the engine section. so that's accelerating the path. once that is complete, we will do testing on the entire integrated vehicle through what we call a green run. we're making determinations right now. ultimately how much of a green run we need to do based on the schedule we are attempting to achieve. and i want to be clear, we're going to be very safe. we're not going to do anything that brings undue safety, but if there are things that we're testing that are nice to have and not necessary, we're going to look to moving those to a later test. at the end of the day, we want to get the rocket to the space center. we want to make sure the mobile launcher is ready to go. all of those are not in the
critical path right now. i think we're in good shape for those activities, and i can tell you everybody at kennedy is extremely excited about getting the first launch of sls by 2020. that's what we're working on right now, getting it by the end of 2020. >> thank you very much for your direct answer. i appreciated your comments last week about the importance of the exploration upper stage for the sls, the second mobile launcher that will launch a more powerful rocket by exploration mission 3. these upgrades will allow sls to launch both astronauts on orion while also paying for lunar sources and so forth. they prefer proposing the work several years out. it appears based on the vice president's charge that we accelerate the return and immediate development. your comments all seem to jive,
and if so, how will nasa continue and accelerate some f-2 development this year, 2020. >> just so you're aware, this is an important issue and you're hitting the nail on the head. under the law, we are required to build a second mobile launcher. what we do at nasa, we follow the law. right now in order to build that second mobile launcher, which is required by law, we are continuing to develop the exploration upper stage in a limited way. like i told ranking member lucas, we want to focus on that core stage. but in a limited way, we need to continue development on upper exploration so we can follow the law and build that second launcher. my commitment, sir, is to follow the law and we will continue doing that. but it's true, if we're going to accelerate the agenda to 2024, we're going to have to make a decision as to what the level of
investment is going to be and make a modification to the budget request to achieve that agenda. we look forward working with omb to achieve that, and that's -- like the chairwoman said, keep going back to my old days. like the chairwoman said, we want to get that to you as soon as possible, hopefully by april 15th. >> thank you very much, mr. bridenstine. i yield back. >> thank you very much. ms. horn. >> thank you, madam chairman. good morning, administrator. i have a statement that i submitted for the record that should be over there. i want to start off by talking -- i think you made a good point that this is not a partisan issue and shouldn't be, but i think we need something for clarity. in the congressional
justification for the fy-20 request, it states that nasa's orion spacecraft and space launch systems are the backbone for deep space exploration, from which private companies could one day provide equivalent commercial. i think the conversation about the appropriate balance between government and commercial is critical. but as the senate -- at the senate committee hearing that you mentioned you were considering the use of commercial vehicles to launch orion on an em-1 mission. so in your prepared statement for today's hearing, you also said nasa is also assessing alternative architectures for the em-1 which could concern the use of commercial launch vehicles. but at the same time in march 26 -- on march 26 in a press release, you were quoted as saying that while some of these alternative vehicles could work, none was capable of achieving our goals in orbit around the moon for the em-1 within our timeline and on budget.
the results of this two-week study reaffirmed our commitment to sls. i guess given these conflicting statements, can you tell me what the final decision was on that? >> absolutely. so the answer is the two-week study is complete. and we looked at all of the commercial options, and we took nothing off the table. what is the realm of possibility, and how do we achieve a 2020 launch with orion crew vehicle and european service module. we looked at a delta 4 heavy. it doesn't have a throw weight. with the ips at the top, it gets even heavier and still can't make it to earth orbit. so we said what about two delta 4s. the challenge is you only have one launch pad from each coast. you have to change orbits once you're there. a lot of time, cryogenic boiloff. it doesn't work. then we said, what about launching a delta 4 and a falcon heavy.
what if we put a crew in the automatic docking with orion. the challenge there is the crew dragon doesn't have the thrust to throw the orion around the moon. so that didn't work. then we looked way out of the box. what if we consider a falcon heavy with an orion service module oreg module or orion crew vehicle? i know that sounds crazy, but we're looking at all options and it works. it requires all the modifications to the launch infrastructure, to the launch pad, to the erector arm. structure, it takes a lot of modifications to do cryogenic and hypergolic refueling. it takes a lot of time. there is a lot of cost and risk. it wouldn't work for accelerating a 2020 launch of an orion crew vehicle.
but what it did demonstrate was if you have a little extra time, 2023, 2024, a lot of that uncertainty could be retired. >> just because i have a few more questions i want to get to, can you boil it down to the final decision? because i appreciate you looking at all those things, but can you boil that down to the final decision that we're still on track with the sls for em-1. >> absolutely. sls is the best -- in fact, it's the only option for em-1, and there are options in the future that need to be considered. and when we land on the moon in 2024, it's only because of all of the above strategies. >> there is a couple more questions i have and i'm going to boil them down very quickly. actually, i've got quite a few more. but focusing on the accelerated moon landing and how we're going to get there, moving it up, even, another five years. from where we were. with these announcements and moving it up, what is the need
for the demonstration -- lunar demonstration programs, given this proposed accelerated time line? how are those programs going to be impacted? >> they're important. we have the commercial pay load services under way. we're going to purchase the access to the moon commercially. we're going to -- small pay loads. ten pounds or less. can you deliver it to the south pole of the moon so it can characterize the water ice. what is the value of the specific territory where we want to land. so those missions are under way right now. they're critically important to helping us understand where when we land humans on the surface of the moon, where we want to place those humans. >> my time has expired, but we'll be submitting questions for the record. thank you. >> yes, ma'am. >> thank you very much.
i apologize i didn't hear you. >> i apologize, madam chairwoman. i didn't hear you. good morning. >> good morning. >> my first question to you would be the fy-20 budget request calls for the elimination of nasa office of education. i believe we need to be encouraging hands-on s.t.e.m. education, which nasa has supported in the past. can you elaborate on how nasa will continue to support stem while zeroing in on the education account? >> nasa does it all the time through various directors, nasa does it through centers across the agency and we do it when we partner with universities, with critically important projects and programs for the agency and our exploration mission and our planetary science missions. so we have a broad kind of s.t.e.m. agenda that is funded
in a whole lot of different ways. that specific office of education is a small piece of everything that we do. i can give you an example. a couple weeks ago i was at a first robotics event and there were thousands of kids there. nasa sponsors it to the tune of about $4 million annually. why? because if you look at the people that are building our robots that are currently on mars, they were participants in first robotics when they were coming up through school. so that's an amazing program that has paid dividends for nasa and, in fact, for the country. and so what we like to do is focus on areas where we know we're getting a return for the agency and a return for the country. again, given the constraints in the budget, we decided to focus on those areas. >> thank you. i have one more question. in your testimony, you talked about the importance of the lunar gateway in order to continue manned missions beyond the low earth orbit. i think it's important to note the work that nasa is doing at the research center, which is near my district in ohio.
my team had a chance to tour the facility working on the development of the power propulsion element at nasa. found the work to be fascinating. could you talk about the importance of work being done at research centers around the country? >> absolutely. and that power and propulsion element that's going to be part of gateway, when we talk about gateway, some people think of it as a space station in orbit around the moon. it's very different. this is, in fact -- it's a reusable command and service module that is going to enable our astronauts and our robots and our landers and rovers -- it's going to enable us more access to more parts of the moon than ever before. and the reason that's possible is because of that power and propulsion element. solar electric propulsion at thrust values that are greater than we've ever been able to achieve before with solar electric propulsions. it's very high-speed impulse. it means the fuel will last a long time. the goal is for the gateway to remain in the moon to be able to
go from that lunar nuclear halo orbit to 1 point and 2 point and enables us to get to the moon more than ever before. so that propulsion effort is critical. >> thank you very much. madam chair, i yield back my remaining time. >> thank you very much. mr. perlmutter? >> thank you, mr. bridenstine, for being here. it's good to see you. initially when i came in, i was disappointed in the report that came back on the pathway to mars. because they basically said, well, given the constraints that nasa faces and budget and all this stuff, we don't think we can get there for a long time, was more or less what they said. which was really disappointing to me. quite frankly, i was very encouraged by your initial comments to the chairwoman about
the desire to get to mars by 2033. and i don't mean to be a one-trick pony on this. but i think it drives a lot of other conversations. it's a responsibility of the congress to provide you all with the resources. the pressure that you felt from the white house -- not you, but nasa, to accelerate returning to the moon, you know, being able to survive on the moon for extended periods of time, quite frankly, for me, i'm okay with that. i think it accelerates the effort to get to mars, which i think is the underlying driving force here for inspiration as well as for nasa to just really expand and continue to expand its capabilities and its imagination. so i really don't have too many
questions. my responsibility is to continue to talk to this committee and others about this goal. something that's interesting, and this is sort of outside of the context of this committee, is when vice president pence says we're in a space race or we've got competition, there is an element of national security that is attached to that. somewhat. it's not just a civil side of our budget that is implicated in that. so i'm going to be turning over every stone to provide the resources so that you guys, the technical, the science, all that stuff to get this done. i'll just have an open-ended statement about that. you can respond. >> i will tell you, congressman perlmutter, your leadership on this has been amazing.
in fact, when i came over here, i said, look, i'm going to see my friend ed perlmutter, and i need to get a bumper sticker that says 2033 on it. i didn't have one in my office. i don't know why not, i should have. but i walked into an office just down the hall and i stole one from somebody that works at nasa. so just know that your efforts have been felt and seen and heard throughout nasa, and we're grateful for it, and we are doing everything we can to accelerate that agenda because you're right, mars is, in fact, the horizon goal. the moon is the tool that we need to get to mars. the glory of the moon is it's a three-day journey home. we have seen what happens when there is failure on the way to the moon with apollo 13. people can make it home safely. if that were to happen on the way to mars, it would be a very bad day for the country and we don't want that to happen.
the moon is the tool to get to mars, and we're doing everything we can to accelerate. >> thank you. i yield back. >> thank you very much. mr. gonzalez. >> thank you, madam chair and ranking member, for holding this hearing today, and obviously a big thank you to you, mr. bridenstine, for your work for our country and with nasa. like troy, i have the distinct honor of -- well, i represent northeast ohio, central ohio, and we're home to the nasa glen research center, as you know. equipment quintessential research center. having visited the center recently saw firsthand just how incredible scientists are, the engineers, the technicians working there. over 3,000 strong. just absolutely amazing work. as you may know, midwest has suffered from the loss of manufacturing jobs in the last decade. look no further than our recent closing in lordstown at the gm plant.
it's my belief that in recent years, certainly with the glenn research center, nasa has under utilized the commercial aerospace resources and human capital in ohio and nearby states. what can you do or think about to ensure that midwest capabilities and capacities are recognized in the procurement and development of goods and services obtained by nasa. >> that's another very important question. we are working every day at nasa to make sure we're taking advantage of all our centers and all the talent that we have. we always consider the talent internal to our agency before we go outside the agency, and what what you know very well is we have a lot of talent. the power and propulsion element as we discussed was a critical piece to the architecture, but the aeronautics capabilities of glenn are really second to none. we're talking about wind tunnel technologies, we're talking about the ability to test engines, to increase fuel efficiency, in fact, to improve
the environmental standards of aircraft. all of these things are being done at glenn in a very meaningful and positive way. and they have implications for our country when we talk about exports, when we talk about how important our engine manufacturing is around the world. we are able to maintain this very cutting edge capability in the propulsion sector of the aviation market because of the efforts of people at glenn and other research centers throughout nasa. >> thank you. and then shifting gears, in your testimony you highlight the importance of aeronautics and the u.s.'s leadership in the global industry. as russia and china continue to make investments in their domestic sector, i think it's more critical than ever that nasa continue to lead in the fundamental research that will help make us competitive, especially in aircraft and cargo systems. administrator, can you talk about how important the aeronautics research that nasa conducts is to our aviation
economy and how nasa can better position itself to ensure that the u.s. is a leader in research? so kind of take a strategic lens on it, if you could. >> absolutely. what we have to think about is what does the future of research look like, and how does america remain preeminent in that space, really for our own economy and for exports. that's really where nasa plays. there are some very leading edge investments that might be too high-risk for a for-profit company to invest in them. but we can come aside and look. i look at these engines and now they're becoming bigger and bigger, the point that they're flat on the bottom or they'll hit the ground, that kind of thing. what is driving that? these are gear capabilities developed by nasa with partnerships with our commercial industries, ultimately so we can increase fuel efficiency, reduce
noise and have better environmental standards without losing any kind of power or thrust. so those bigger turbo fans are a direct result of nasa investments, and we want to keep doing that. it's also important to note a couple other things i think are important. we want to be able to fly from new york to l.a. in a matter of two hours rather than six hours. we want the ability to fly supersonically across the united states without a sonic boom that is disturbing to people and infrastructure. that technology is being developed right now so that at the end of the day, faa can give us a determination that it's perfectly okay to fly supersonic over the united states. we're working on that. and then when we think about urban air mobility, the idea that you can order something and have it delivered to your front door with, no kidding, a drone, in a matter of minutes. that capability is on the horizon, and eventually the idea that we're going to be able to
fly humans across a city and avoid traffic. we need to be thinking about that today. there's billions of dollars of investment going into these activities all over the world. the united states of america needs to be in the lead. >> i completely agree with you. thank you for your time and i yield back. >> you bet. >> thank you very much. now to foster. >> thank you, madam chairwoman and thank you, administrator. a quick question on the 2024 launch date. who made that decision to change it by five years? >> that was a decision made by the president of the united states announced by the vice president of the united states. >> fascinating. okay. where -- were technical people consulted, were budgetary people consulted? >> yes. >> and was the question asked, what that would do to the budget at the time that the command was given? >> the determination was made that we would need to make an amendment to the budget requests, and we're working on that right now. >> you're doing that on a zero sum basis or will you have to
cut other programs? >> i will tell you, it will not be successful if we're cutting other programs. because we have to have bipartisan support. >> so you will be asking for an increase. and were there -- was it specified who would be taxed to do that? >> there there be taxes? >> yeah, normally you have to tax someone to pay for it. >> that would be a determination by somebody other than the nasa administrator. >> okay. now, just -- you're talking about a -- you know, essentially a program based on chemical rockets that would be completely understandable to verner von brown. there have been, for decades, conceptual designs for ways to get stuff into lower orbit for much less. for example, these are things
like electromagnetic launch systems, space systems, and it seems like you're spending a negligible amount of stuff that actually has the chance to reduce the cost of getting stuff into low-earth orbit. is that something that bothers you? have you considered moving the needle on that so we have a chance 50 or 100 years from now with having space be affordable to people, which i think is pretty clearly not going to happen if we just keep using chemical rockets again and again. >> that's an important question. you're absolutely right, chemical rockets are expensive. we're making really great advancements right now on the reuseability of rockets which is driving down cost -- >> that's not a major effect. i've visited spacex when this was still conceptional, hadn't been approved yet. i asked the question, if you reused the booster, and let's say it works, they're able to do it, you lose your capacity to low-earth orbit because you
have to retain fuel to land the booster. you have to go and take stuff apart. how much money do you actually save? the answer from the engineer at the time was you save 27%. that is not transformative. we need a factor of 10, not whatever number you get from using a reusable booster. so you have to spend money on transformative technologies. and i don't see that anywhere in your budget. is that -- how do you view that tradeoff? >> again, i think it depends on what your definition of transformative technologies are. i will tell you -- >> something that could get a factor of ten in the low-earth orbit. >> if there is a way to do that, i'm all for it. i know you're a physicist and i'm all ears. >> it relies on fundamental research, if you want to make the space elevator work, you've got to get long carbon nano tubes in mass production. these are things where --
they're good ideas on how to spend the money. but if you concentrate more and more on let's go to the moon with the exact same technology we used 50 years ago in the next five years, you know, you're -- the money that's spent there is not being spent on something that can actually make space accessible to large numbers of americans 20, 30, 50 years from now. so i urge you to rethink the trajectory you're on. in a similar way, space nuclear power is something you're working on. and the tradeoff that you -- the decision you have to make early is whether you're going to use weapons-grade material or non-weapons-grade material. i understand my understanding that for a nuclear space propulsion, you have settled on low, enriched, nonweapons. correct? >> correct, that's what we use. >> the other appears you're not heading in that direction, at least initially for power reactors, things that would be
used potentially on satellites or lunar or mars basis. a future where every space faring nation can service the reactors they are using all over the moon and all over mars is not a very safe space environment. and, you know, it's -- i've spent some time looking into it. there will be some small performance compromises in going with low, enriched, nonweapons grade material. but i urge you to look hard at keeping alive the prospect of having an international collaboration to develop workable nonweapons grade based materials that the whole world will use. >> i will look at those options. >> thank you. i appreciate it. you bet. >> thank you very much. mr. cloud? >> good to see you. >> good to see you. >> thanks for being here. you certainly probably have the
funnest job in the room. >> i agree. >> it's certainly exciting what's going on in space right now. it's not only exciting but noble work that's being done. nasa is a part of our heritage, and what's going on is necessary. this renewed space race is necessary not only from the exploratory side of science but from a national security standpoint when we see china and all they're doing to take the high ground. and in a firm economy who controls space, controls the information, it's just essential, of course, that we continue to lead in that front. my question has to do with, you inherited -- if you talked to goa, government accountability offices -- sorry, i got that backwards -- gao -- they have nasa on the high risk for waste and have actually downgraded them. this is what you walked into.
i'm wondering what we're doing, because as we prioritize how important it is to spend certain levels of money, i think it's just important that we prioritize the efficiencies. can you tell us what nasa is doing to promote efficiencies and being bigger than china in the space race? >> you're absolutely right. the gao high-risk list has nasa on it. and yes, we have been downgraded. so the reason we're there is because we have not been good at maintaining schedule, and we have not been good at maintaining cost. there are a number of reasons for that, and i think people on this committee are well aware that what we do is unique. it's unlike anything that any other agency does. we have built things that have never existed before. and we have to invent things to make our products work.
things that are really, quite frankly, astonishing and stunning. i'm not making any kind of excuse. we need to be much better at making determinations as to the cost of what we're going to build and the schedule of what we're going to build. part of that requires us to ultimately not be so aggressive in what we say we can achieve. we need to make sure that we have margin built into our schedules and into our costs, as a matter of fact. nasa is very ambitious. it's a culture that's a good thing, everybody wants to do things yesterday, but sometimes we need to be more realistic and that's part of what we're trying to get fixed. when we have schedule delays, whether it's commercial crew or sls or exploration upper stage, whatever the case might be,
those delays ultimately put -- it puts us as an agency at risk, and it encourages congressmen to ask questions that we don't like to answer. so we've got to get better at making those assessments, and we're working on that. >> i think, for example, there is an israeli company landing on the moon. the first commercial company. what's going on in the commercial industry. can you speak to how nasa is partnering with them to save money? for example, the xprize, is nasa doing that kind of thing when it comes to contracting to maybe take the burden of research off some of these things and put them in innovators? >> yes. here's the challenge. sometimes the company have an ability to overstate what they can achieve as well. because they're all trying to win contracts in that particular
case. we have to be really good buyers. we have to be smart buyers. in fact, i would argue that it could be said that as we have turned more to commercial industry to provide capability, we have lost in some cases the intellectual capital necessary to be a smart buyer. so on one hand, yes, you're right, we can outsource some of those challenges. on the other hand, we still have to meet schedule and we still have to meet cost. we can't rely on somebody else to tell us what that scheduling cost is, because sometimes they're not right, either, and then we're held accountable for it. we have to be careful with how we go about that in the future. but the x prize, you mentioned space il. we are partnering with space il which is that little israeli company. they'll be landing something on the moon for $95,000 worth of investment, which is a radical change in cost for anything that's ever landed on the moon previously.
nasa is a partner with them for the instrument that's on that vehicle. we are also providing our deep space network to support them with communications, which is unique to us. so we're a partner with them. we're proud of that. and we have our own program domestically for commercial lunar payload services where we've already signed up nine companies that we have assessed are able to deliver small payloads to the surface of the moon. and we're looking forward -- in fact, we have already put out the first task order, and we're looking forward to seeing what industry is going to be willing to provide from a domestic perspective as far as landing small payloads on the surface of the moon. all of these are critical capabilities and in some cases help us with the gao high-risk report and in other cases could put us in more risk. we have to be careful how we go about telling you and others our schedule. as much as we want to tell them we want to be there yesterday, we have to be careful about that.
thank you. >> thank you very much. mr. mcadams. >> thank you, madam chair, and thank you, administrator bridenstine, for your time and testimony here today. nasa enjoys an incredible reputation with the american people and with myself as well. i'm excited to hear more about the inspiring plans for the future of our nation's space program. it's been an interesting and informative dialogue today. utah, my home state, has a proud heritage of supporting human space exploration as well from the building of the reusable solid rocket motors from 1981 to 2011, to the things being produced for the space launch system or sls, to take us back to the moon and beyond, as we have been discussing today. i also want to share with you the belief that we must share our priorities are formed by the
scientific resources, and our goals are also grounded in our ability to deliver the requisite technology and safely complete the mission. my question for you is, first of all, i guess i'm a little perplexed that after nasa prepared the nation's budget request, the administration announced an acceleration, the acceleration to send humans to the moon by 2024 rather than the previous goal. a goal which i support. while i think that objective is laudable, i'm concerned that given what appears to be a lack of planning for such a goal that nasa still has a lot of questions to answer to achieve that mission on such a short time frame. i'm also pleased to hear your ongoing commission to writing this in light of the supported role. in the accelerated mission
schedule. >> so the budget request currently has us focused on the core stage of sls, which is where the challenge has been, specifically the engine section on the core stage. so we are using the resources that we have for the sls focused on that. we, in fact, have made tooling investments so we can integrate the oxygen tank, the hydrogen tank in a horizontal way so the intersection is no longer in a critical path and we can continue assembling the rest of the rocket for a delivery by the end of this year. so all of that, i think, is progress in the right direction. you had a question ahead of that. >> in light of the -- i'm sorry, let me look back at my notes here. i guess a follow-up on a question i would have, this accelerated schedule, have you
discussed that with the aerospace safety advisory panel, and what comments and concerns did they have, if any? >> the answer is we have discussed this. i had a town hall yesterday. we got questions about it with the entire nasa family and put it all out there and said, look, we have a new agenda to get there in 2024, and of course there were questions. like, are we going to compromise safety? the answer is, congressman, absolutely not. we have independent technical authorities embedded into the programs. those independent technical authorities, they don't get their assessment from their manager does not come from the program. it's completely independent. if they need to throw a red flag and say this isn't safe, they have a job to do that. we want those independent technical authorities for safety to stay in place, whether it's engineering or technology, human factors, medicine. all of those safety valves are in place. and they're strong and we're
going to keep them. we're not going to take any undue risk. i would like to say when john f. kennedy announced we were going to the moon, in congress, he it was only weeks after alan shepard passed the carmine line. by the end of the week, he was announcing, we're going to the moon by the end of the decade. it was a moment in american history that was transformative. it captured the imagination of the american people. it wasn't without challenges but we achieved it and now it's an accomplishment that everyone still talks about. my children watched the video and i'm sure your family has well. all of these things i think are important. in my view, this is a great opportunity for this agency. it's a great opportunity for the country. and i think we can capitalize on it. >> thank you, mr. administrator. i applaud the ambition.
let's make sure we do it safely. >> yes, sir. >> i yield back. >> thank you very much. mr. olson. >> i thank the chair and welcome to a former member of this committee. a former naval aviator and a former rice university graduate. >> go, owls. hoot. >> hoot. before i go on, i'm forced to make comments about vice president pence's vision of going to the moon in five years. we all know nasa's attitude from apollo 13. failure is not an option. but listening to my colleagues from on the other side of the aisle, that phrase may now be, failure is the only option. i remind my colleagues the young president john fitzgerald kennedy told the american people at our alma mater, rice university, and this is a quote. i realize that this is in sommer
an act of faith and vision, end quote. we choose to go to the moon in this decade. he said that on september 12 of 1962. neil armstrong said that's one small step for man -- a giant leap for mankind six years and 311 days after that inspiring speech. we can go back to the moon if we make the commitment in five years. i think to go to mars, we have to go back to the moon first. the moon should be the place we train for going to mars. a few examples. the moon's gravity is one-sixth of our gravity. mars is one-third.
it's not actually working in the atmosphere gravity we have between mars and the moon. we have one difference too about going to them in the '60s. we have the rocket being built right now. the sls, it's going forward, it's online, it may be ready to fly in the next couple years. the saturn 5 came out of nowhere to go fly. we're way ahead of the curb on that one. we have the crew vehicle. this committee saved the orion capsule. when it was killed by the previous administration's destruction of the consolation project. we saved that capsule back to the moon to mars and beyond. it's been mentioned too we have to have bigger rockets to go to
mars, faster rockets, right now the moon is about two days away with the current rockets. jim can tell you that mars is probably three months, four months, six months -- >> seven maybe. >> seven months. >> yeah. >> that means people have to have food and water, supplies. that's going to be one big heavy rocket. have to have a new propulsion system, for example. for example, former astronaut astronaut named franklin chang diaz has what's called -- i'm drawing a blank here -- it's basically a rocket that keeps accelerating. it goes faster and faster. not the speed of sound but the speed of light. maybe get to mars within three weeks as opposed to three months. also is a big belt of radiation between earth and mars. we've never been through that with humans. we have to learn how we get through that band and keep humans alive.
my question to you, my good colleague administrator bridenstine, do you think going to the moon helps us going to mars? >> without question. i would argue you cannot get to mars unless you use the moon as a cool to get there. what i'm talking about is, we need to learn and work on another world. you don't want to try that when it's going to take seven months to get home, and by the way, you've got to be there for two years before you try to come home, because the earth and the moon won't be on the same side of the sun. we have to learn and work on another moon. we've proven that you can come home safely when something goes wrong during a moon mission if we were to do that on the way to mars, it would be devastating. >> it's called the plasma rocket. it goes faster and faster and faster. one question about china. >> yeah. >> as you know, apollo 11 left a plaque on the moon that says, we came in peace for all mankind. i guarantee you, if china put a plaque on the moon, it would say
something, we came to make the moon ours. look no further than right here on earth. the south china sea. china's torn apart pristine reeves to make bases out of them. do we think they'll change their attitude toward going to the moon? should we ramp this up and go to the moon asap? >> you're asking me. >> i'm asking, yes, sir. >> i think we should go asap. just as you identified when you talk about a plasma rocket, the idea is when you think about a rocket you've got two things, you've got mass that comes out of the back end of the rocket and you've got how fast that mass is going. from franklin chang diaz is doing, he's accelerating subatomic particles, electrons as you mentioned as close to the speed of light and so when you talk about the mass being that small, that means the acceleration has to be that fast which is why that would be a capability -- that would be -- i know earlier congressman foster was talking about nuclear capabilities.
that would be nuclear electric propulsion which would be an absolute game changer getting to mars in a matter of weeks rather than in a matter of months would be transformational and enable us to do more and protect human lives. we are making investments in that. in fact, those investments are in this budget and would be 100% transformational. >> go navy, beat army. >> go navy. >> mr. caston? >> thank you chairman johnson, thank you administrator bridenstine. in 2009, the national academy published the studies of america's future in space align the civil space program with national needs, nasa and noaa should lead the formation of an international satellite observing architectural capable of monitoring global climate change. congresswoman bonamici also brought up the science decadal
survey, which would take from two missions. the space mention and the claireio fact finder mission. of those missions are widely regarded at crucial in helping us how our climate is changing and planned mitigation in those policies. we've already mentioned that that's been curtailed in the president's budget. i think it's worth reminding that those were cut in the last two budgets. those programs existed not because of the administration, but because congress insisted on keeping those programs going. >> and we are, sir, keeping those programs going and we're moving rapidly to get those programs online. >> well, as you've mentioned, they're being curtailed now because of the changes you're putting in place and so you had mentioned that there is a budgetary pressure to terminate those missions in your earlier comments. was there any scientific basis for terminating those missions. >> there, indeed, was. clario pathfinder is a
technolo technology demonstrator to be on the /* international space station. it ultimately is basically a radiation budget instruments that we have other instruments in orbit right now that are measuring the radiation budget of the earth. in other words, energy comes in from the sun. it's an optical parts of the electromagnet spectrum and other parts of the electromagnet spectrum. and then when that energy dissipates, it's an infrared. we're measuring the total, basically, radiation budget of the earth so we can monitor climate change. and we're doing that not only with a technology demonstrator, but with missions already on orbit. >> if i could ask you please to submit to the committee a specific list of those missions that are going to provide the information that we're losing -- >> absolutely. >> you know, i guess i'd also like to know -- you mentioned that you had some consensus from the scientific community, can you provide specifically who in the scientific community has confirmed that cutting those missions will not interfere with our ability to understand how our climate is changing and what we need to do to adapt.
>> i can provide you with that. >> okay. well, it seems to me that the budget that you're proposing has a sense that exploration should be the primary mission of nasa rather than understanding the one planet in the universe that we know actually has the capability to accommodate human life. the -- there is cutting in this program for outyear programs. we've got funding right now for studying the earth but cutting these programs and under these scenarios if i'm following the math, nasa's not going to be initiating any new high priority decadal missions over the five-year budget horizon, which leaves the possibility for a gap with really no priority strategic missions under way. and would cut earth, science in fy-2020. given all that and this is just a yes or no question, do you personally believe that anthropogenetic global warming is real and happening? >> absolutely.
carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas and it is, in fact, causing the climate to change. and, by the way, we're studying every day, we're launching here in a month the orbital carbon observatory 3 which was cut in the last budget request but not in this budget request. >> do you believe that we currently have the tools to meet the recommendation of the national academy is that nasa/noaa should lead the formation of satellite capable of monitoring global climate change and its consequences. >> i absolutely do. just to be clear, congressman, this budget request is higher than five of the budgets under president obama for earth science specifically. >> but we're cutting the programs that i think -- we'll find out when we see your submission coming back. what do you think are the chances -- i have a real fear
that we may have a century left that this planet is habitable, particularly on our coastlines and runaway temperatures and melting permafrost. what do you think are the chances if we run into a situation the next century where this planet is not as habitable that we like it to be that we have the ability to escape earth and live on another planet? >> that's -- that's -- i don't -- i don't really have any way of answering that question. >> would you say it's greater than 1%? >> within how many years. >> within a century? would you say it's greater than 1%? >> you're talking about moving humanity off earth to another planet. i'm not banking on that. >> so then how do you justify over prioritizing exploration at the expense of understanding the planet we have? >> what exploration does is, it inspires the nation. we go back to the apollo era and we look at everything that came from the apollo era, i hear about tang and velcro. what we're talking about is
communication architecture. the way we -- many people probably listening right now watch directv or dish network, maybe they listen to xm radio, maybe they get their internet broadband as many of my former constituents from oklahoma, they get that internet from space. all of those communication architecture were born from an idea that we should go to the moon back in the 1960s. >> i think i'm out of time. i'm all for inspiration of future generations, i want to make sure that we have future generations. >> yes, sir. >> thank you very much. mr. beard? >> thank you madam chair and mr. bridenstine we appreciate you being here. space exploration is certainly exciting in its own right and then -- and then finding the tons of frozen water on the moon certainly ads to its intrigue as far as a stepping stone to going to mars and i think it's interesting that frozen water could not only furnish water but it can furnish fuel and hydrogen and oxygen.
very interesting. purdue university's in my district and as you know, we've produced 24 astronauts among them was neil armstrong, gus grisham, norm shriver. the national defense industrial association is hosting a conference at purdue university over the summer on the topic of hypersonics. so in that vein, can you give us any more detail about nasa's plan to invest in the hypersonic technology, what you think -- >> absolutely. this is a part of our portfolio, and it's an important part. we talk about, you know, what we do as an agency. we have to get through the atmosphere in order to go to space, hypersonics are a piece of that and, in fact, we have a lot of facilities and the capabilities that are resident within nasa that other agencies use for those capabilities as well for testing and ultimately
developing hypersonics, so we are a partner with other agencies at the same time. it's an important part of what we do. >> thank you. can you also describe to the committee how nasa's partnership with the universities like purdue on cutting edge research and it may impact agriculture. i have a tremendous interest in that as well. >> yes. go ahead. >> i was just going to ask how this committee could be helpful in helping those partnerships grow, so -- >> great question. number one, universities help us reach more of the country with the goodness that nasa delivers. i would say, just so you're aware, purdue, the center director at the johnson space center in houston is a purdue graduate. the associate administrator of the human exploration and
operations mission directorate here in washington, d.c. is a purdue graduate. and forget about the 24 astronauts that are littered throughout all of nasa, so you should be proud of this university that's in your district. going back to the ag piece and i think this goes to representative costins question as well in what nasa does and why earth science is so important. climate change is a big piece of what we do. we're the only agency that does it and we do more of it than any other nation in the world by far and it's a good thing. what we're learning now is from the earth science capabilities that have been delivered for purposes that weren't focused on agriculture, we're actually now applying that capability to do a number of things including increasing crop yields. while reducing water usage. we've got a partnership going back to the university question you asked, sir, partnership with the university of california cooperative extension and what
they're demonstrating is that with our remote sensing from space of the agriculture communities in california, we are increasing crop yields while reducing water usage by 25%, which means that water is now available for rivers and reservoirs in other areas. we're potentially, in fact, saving species that are at risk and at the same time, we're feeding more of the community than we otherwise would have fed. crop yields are going up 25%, water usage is down about 25% and at the same time we're preserving the nitrates in the soil. normally when you overwater, those nitrates -- nitrates erode away and there's two problems there. number one, the plants don't have them which is why the prop yields aren't as high and number two, it ends up in the water that humans drink which costs
millions and millions of dollars to clean. the goodness that is coming from the earth science budget of nasa has a lot of application now. we not only saved lives but american taxpayer dollars because the science mission directorate. thank you very much. i'm very glad to hear that. i yield back. thank you very much. mr. byer. mr. cohen. >> thank you, madam chair. >> thank you, madam chair. i would just like to ask a couple questions. firstly, i was all concerned when we decided to use russia for all of our launches many
years ago. apparently that's work. we haven't lost anybody yet, although there was one that didn't too well. when are we going to have our own flights and when we do, what will the russia program be? will we have it as a secondary option or what? >> great question and it's something that we need to start really communicating. i think it's an important issue. yes, this year we believe we're going to have two commercial crew providers that enable us to launch our astronauts from american soil to the international space station. the goal here, though, is not to replace our partnership with russia. the international space station has proven to be an amazing capability, a channel of communication with a country that as you're aware, we have all kinds of terrestrial disputes, since the 1990s we have been able to collaborate on the international space station and even before that if you go back to the shuttle meir program
and even before that. the height of the cold war, we have as a nation been able to cooperate in space. they have amazing capabilities. we can take advantage of that. we have amazing capabilities that they can take advantage of for science and exploration and discovery. we want to make sure that when we do have our own capability, that they can launch on our rockets and we can launch on our rockets. the partnership continues it's just more of a partnership rather than us purchasing seats from them as a customer, it would be more of a partnership. in other words, a no-exchange of funds kind of bilateral partnership for access to lower earth orbit. >> once we get our rockets going and get us to the moon, we will not be using the russians so much? >> it'll be a partnership. it'll be a partnership rather than -- >> and you feel confident that they're -- i don't think they've lost -- i don't think they've lost anybody in space, have they? >> not since we've been dependent on them for our access
to the international space station. we had one rocket that we launched back in october, but because of their design, they were able to eject their crew module and everybody came home safely. >> going to the moon and going to mars, is that what every other country has as their line, first moon and then to mars? >> i will tell you, we're unique in that we have the capability to deliver this opportunity. i will tell you that every country -- the head of every agency that i've met with is very excited about going to the moon and they're looking forward to partnering with us. this is about -- this is really american leadership at its finest. there's just a lot of excitement all around the world to partner on this. >> what has china done? did they go around once? >> they have had a number of landers on the surface of the moon. they have chang e 4 on the far side of the moon. >> but no people? >> they've never had a people on the moon. >> china wants to do that
obviously. >> they do. >> is there a man to go to mars after that or do they have a plan b on that? >> i don't know that they have a plan to go to mars at this point. >> okay. you were talking about supersonic flight. >> yes, sir. >> a quick research boom and boeing are looking into this as private. what's nasa's role in this? >> it's a great question. so what we do is we prove capability. we prove technology. we retire risk and our goal is always to commercialize, to license, to give other people the capability of advancing their technologies or using our technologies to their benefit. the intent being that it enables the united states of america to remain a leader in this very high technological field of aerospace and then increase exports. that's the role that we play. we do not want to compete with private sector, we partner with the private sector so that they can actually achieve more in the
international community. >> and is the concord coming back? >> well, the low boon flight demonstrator is not the concord but -- the concord created a very loud boom. >> yeah. >> and that's why it couldn't flight over the united states. it only flew over the ocean. what we're trying to do is something entirely different where we could have a supersonic aircraft fly over the united states and the boom would be insignificant. >> but -- i thought i read some where the concord british, french they were going to start do flights again over the ocean? >> i don't know about the concord. i know there's a lot of countries interested all over the world interested in supersonic flight again. >> let me ask you about the spacesuits that were not -- >> yes, sir. >> -- for women. you had one that could fit a woman, you didn't have two. i know it's "saturday night live" and all but still, you have suits for dogs and monkeys and another woman? >> so we did have two spacesuits
for two women and the challenge is each spacesuit is not -- think of it as a spacecraft, that's what it is. it's a spacecraft that goes outside the international space station and they're designed not just for the purpose but for the specific mission, and our astronaut ann mcclain made a determination that in the interest of crew success she thought it would be better to change the space walk person rather than to change modify the spacesuit. we as nasa, we had an option to modify the spacesuit. we made -- i say we, she, made the call, that it was better to not modify which would take hours and inject risk, she made a determination that it would be better to change the crew rather than the suit and -- and just so you know, sir, we are making sure that in the future both genders will be accommodated 100%. >> let me close just by saying,
i've been very impressed with your presentation and feel comfortab comfortable about you being at nasa. i think we do need to get as quickly as we can, i guess, to the moon and et cetera. but just keep in your mind, the whole time you're being told to speed it up, the o rings >> yes, sir. >> you know, i think there was quite a bit of suspicion that the politics said get that flying, regardless. and the o rings. >> absolutely. mr. weber? >> thank you, madam. welcome back. >> great to be here. >> glad to see you here. >> always. >> you went to wrights university. >> can you imagine? >> i know. well, we'll welcome you back to texas to spend lots of money any time. of course, that's where our great president jfk made his pronouncement we choose to go to the moon, not because it's easy, but because it's hard. refresh my memory, jim, if you don't want mind me calling you that, how long did it take us to get to the moon? >> he made the announcement in
congress in 1961, he made the announcement at rice university in 1962 and we had boots on the moon in july 20th, 1969. >> i know there was people back then to use that phrase hot air that a lot of people thought it was hot air but in reality we actually got that job done. it was seven years, give or take, right, and would you characterize that -- i know you're a little bit of a student of history, that was before your time. you were born in '75? >> yes. i'm the first nasa administrator that was not alive when we had people on there. >> you're doing a fine job. >> thank you. >> it was seven years ago, would you characterize that as unchartered territory? >> a little bit. >> a little bit. absolutely. is it fair to say that we had less computing power back then than we currently have? >> slightly. >> a little bit. >> did we have less funding back then than we have now? >> actually, no. we had a lot more funding. >> is that right?
percentage-wise, we were good on funding. >> in 2014 dollars, at our peak -- in 2014 dollars, it was about $40 billion annually was nasa's budget. and so today it would be, you know, about $20 billion. >> so you could say that that was -- that was a sign of how important -- what a priority it was for us? >> it was a high priority. >> absolutely, it was high priority. did we have less technology back then than we have today? >> a lot less. >> a lot less. so some would say, did we have less belief and faith that we could do it back then? >> i guess you could make that argument. >> i know you weren't on the earth at that point but i can tell you, there was a lot of -- people thought we'd never get it done. in your being a student of history and being so involved in nasa and i so appreciate you, on behalf of the 17,000 employees, thank you for being here and what you're doing. have you seen any other president announce four national space objectives?
>> not in this way, not anywhere near this level of commitment with these really very impressive goals. >> right. absolutely. so based on what we were just talking about, you know, the less technology, less computing power and a lot of people didn't know if we'd be able to make it, you have confidence that we can hit that five years. >> i believe it can be done. >> i would agree with you. what we have right now in nasa, what a fine organization, if it is our priority, if we double down to get it done, we're going to get 'er done and i would argue that most of us on the science committee believe we'll get it done too so i thank you for that confidence. i want to say a couple things about it. you talked about -- there's a lot of good things that come out of nasa and the discussion between you and congresswoman horn you talked about a realm of possibility. i love that phrase. there's so many things that are within our realm of possibility and nasa is leading the way on that.
don't you agree? >> agree completely. >> i was listening to y'all talk and i was also listening to you talk about the reduction gear that was developed by nasa that is flat on the bottom. so when they land -- explain that again. >> i was looking at the cells of an engine of not too long ago and i noticed that if flattens out at the bottom. the reason it was flattening out because the cells keep getting bigger and bigger. the question is, i didn't know why. but i learned that it's because of technology that nasa developed that in conjunction with our commercial partners to improve the fuel efficiency and the environmental, you know, i guess, mitigation efforts of our industry so that we can improve exports for the united states of america. >> absolutely. was glad to hear your exchange about the climate change thing. america ought to be in the leadership, we ought to be developing that technology and nasa can lead the way.
>> and we have, yes. >> you bet you. glad to hear it. i'll say that. we're looking at one space directive of four right now, just one. >> that's right. >> and i will say that it's visionary and madam chair, if i can be so bold, you love hearing about s.t.e.m. this is going to help our s.t.e.m. program, because it is visionary. i will say it's invigorating, ma'am, we do need s.t.e.m. to get there. thank you for pointing that out. it's invigorating. you're going to see americans get behind this, i believe, as much as they did in 1961 and '62. i hope we're going to see bipartisanship out of this. i think we're going to see america get behind this, youth and s.t.e.m., as the chairwoman so appropriately pointed out. and look, i would argue this is about american exceptionalism. administrator bridenstine, you made the comment that america needs to lead the way.
and i will say, that's exactly what's going to happen. it's going to be american exceptionalism, it's going to help stim and help inspire the s.t.e.m., and i can't go any further because i'm out of time. do you see any reason we can't go forward with this? >> i think we need to. >> you're on track, jim. >> thank you very much. mr. buyer? >> administrator, welcome. >> thank you. >> like many of my colleagues, i was disappointed to see that the president's budget request for 2020 has the same cuts to nasa science, education, earth science programs that it did last year. even after congress, you know, basically stood many of them up. eliminating nasa's key s.t.e.m. programs, p.a.c.e., clario, they seem short-sighted. we need to investing in both our generation and climate research, but the appropriations process will work a lot of that out i know. i am very excited about off to the moon and off to mars. it's a really exciting stuff, but the tradeoff i'm concerned is, eliminating the highest rank
priority of the survey which is w first, the wide field infared telescope. when commissioner bolden was here a couple years ago, i think you were on the committee at the time. i asked him, nasa's constancy of purpose, what should it be and without hesitation, he said science. and the most essential science we have right now is trying to figure out about dark energy, about what's happening in the origin of the universe with the infrared stuff, exo planets. and i think initially jw james webb who you are committed to and w were first planned together and complement each other. why does it make any sense to take w. first out of our budget and how can we -- and isn't this going to jeopardize that project in the long run and diminish what we can get from james webb? >> it's a wonderful question, congressman, and the way i would answer it is, the james webb
space telescope is really our biggest flagship mission in the astrophysics division of the science mission directorate and we're committed -- we have to be committed to it. by the time this is over, march of 2021, we're going to launch it. we'll be $9 billion in that program. the challenge is -- and this goes back to an earlier question about maintaining schedule and maintaining costs. when i first came in, that program was being pushed back and the cost was increasing. i had to come back to this committee to get authorization to, in fact, go forward with this mission given the cost increase and the schedule delay. all of that being said, when we have a flagship mission like that, that goes well beyond what we ever envisioned, it ends up impacting other missions within the astrophysics division. so i think as we go forward, what we have to consider and what i'm hoping to work with you on, is a balanced portfolio. we certainly want to do flagship
missions but when we have a flagship mission like this that goes over and we're on the brink of starting another flagship mission, the only way to do that is to cannibalize smaller missions and medium class missions and when we do that, we put more risk on the entire astro physics division. we have to get smarter i think in the future of creating a more balanced portfolio and you're absolutely right, the w. first is to work with james webb, it's important we get james webb into space because ultimately to the extent that we ever have w. first available to us, it needs to work in conjunction with james webb if james webb doesn't launch then w. first is not going to be as useful, although it would be tremendously valuable. >> well, please count on us to continue to press on w. first in the years to come from the science committee. >> you bet. >> i'm sure you've seen the charts that showed the percentage of our federal budget or percentage of gdp that the
nasa budget was when we were going to the moon. >> yes. >> now we're going to go again into mars. you talked about the $40 billion in today's numbers. 2014. >> yeah. >> realistically, how do you expect to be able to do this when our nasa budget's a fraction of what it was before? >> it's a great question. to start, we're making assessments right now -- if we're going to land in 2024, which we're going to do, the question is how are we going to achieve that? number two, it's also true that we have more capabilities right now and i think congressman weber hit on a lot of these, we have the miniaturization of electronics, we have reusable launch vehicles and commercial launch vehicles. we have a lot of the hardware that exists right now that didn't exist in 1961 and in 1962 when president kennedy made his famous speeches. all of those capabilities
collude to say that we have an opportunity here should we choose to accept it to no kidding get to the moon in 2024. that -- that -- that, you know, kind of vision is in front of us if we want to go after it. i think -- i think we can achieve it given what is available right now and don't get me wrong, it's not without additional resources, but the key in order to get that, of course, is bipartisan consensus and i understand that and i'm working towards that. >> great, thank you very much. >> you bet. >> madam chair, i yield back. >> thank you very much. mr. babbitt. >> yes, ma'am. thank you very much, madam chair. good to see you there mr. administrator. >> good to see you. >> i appreciate all the great work you're doing. i proudly represent the johnson space center in houston which manages the international space station, the lunar gateway program and development of the next generation spacesuits and i understand that nasa's currently undergoing a study to evaluate
the cost of returning to the moon as we've been speaking about this morning. jsc stands ready to execute the vice president's very exciting vision to return to the moon as soon as possible. so i wanted to ask you just a few questions. how much will it cost to complete the lunar gateway as proposed in the fy 20 budget request? >> so there's a number of issues. when we go to the moon in 2024, in order to achieve that, we have to accelerate the gateway process. we need a power and propulsion element and we need a habitation module. we need to be able to forward stage if you will landing capabilities so when we launch humans in 2024 they have the tools necessary to get to the surface of the moon, so all of those right now are influx and it's important for me in the coming weeks to come back to you with what that cost is going to look like. >> okay. i got you. what impact will accelerating
exploration of the moon have on the international space station? >> it shouldn't -- it shouldn't have any impact on the international space station, lower earth orbit is still key to our mission and it should have no impact. >> okay. great. how much will it cost to accelerate lunar lander development? you'll have to get back to us on that as well? >> yes. i'd appreciate that. >> our current spacesuits were developed in the 1970s. nasa challenges with spacesuits after losing suits in the challenger and spacex cargo accidents, we only have a handful left in inventory. over the last several years, astronauts have even almost drowned in their spacesuits. the current spacesuits used on iss are not capable of surface operations. nasa issued a report to congress that laid out air plan for future space suit development. will that plan be accelerated now that we are accelerating exploration of the moon's surface?
>> sir, in order to get to the moon's surface, we have to have new spacesuits. it's -- captain >> no-brainer? >> yes. >> okay. what do you expect that cost to be and will jsc maintain its role in spacesuit development? >> the astronaut office at jsc will absolutely be involved and their role is not going to change. certainly the cost is something i'll have to get back to you on. >> okay. as i said earlier, the american public is excited by the administration's enthusiasm for space exploration, and i certainly look forward to helping achieve all of these very, very exciting goals. and then i think i've got a little time left. last month the chairwoman and ranking member sent a letter to the commissioners of the fcc expressing concern about its proposed radio frequency based on feedback from the scientific community, the letter highlighted the need for interagency consultation among
affected scientific agencies and the consideration of unintended consequences on areas such as weather forecasting before the option could move forward. can you explain to the committee what nasa's role is during the interagency consultation process and concerns that you have about last month's auctions? >> great question. so nasa works with the ntia which is the government kind of arbiter of spectrum issues and ntia ultimately represents nasa to the rest of the government. when it comes to, you know, spectrum auctions and that kind of thing. i will tell you that the 24 gigahertz spectrum that is being auctioned could have an impact on nasa's mission. when we talk about sensing the earth in the 23 gigahertz range what that enables us to do is characterize water vapor in the atmosphere, it enables us to characterize energy in the
atmosphere. and why is that important? that's how we're able to make predictions. i say we, nasa is not responsible for the operational we're responsible for developing the satellites for noaa and that operates them operationally. and that part of the electromagnetic spectrum is necessary to make predictions as to where a hurricane is going to make landfall. so that has a big impact. if you can't make that prediction accurately, then you end up not evacuating the right people and/or you evacuate people that don't need to evacuate, which is a problem. and all of those have impact. when it comes to hurricane sandy, for example, the united states of america believed it was going to be heading out to sea. the european model got it right. it wasn't the european model. it was the european data. they had better data than we had from their systems. we want to make sure we get this right because it's not only life and property, it's also important to recognize -- when
it comes to weather forecasting in general, again, you'd have to ask noaa, but my consultations with them, we're talking about going back to 1978 levels of data. in other words, instead of a seven-day weather forecast, a two or three-day weather forecast. again, i'm not saying that they sold our spectrum. that didn't happen. but there's a risk that, depending on the power and the position of the cell towers in the 5g network, it could bleed over into our spectrum and that's the risk and the assessments that nasa has done in conjunction with noaa have determined that there is a very high probability that we're going to lose a lot of data. >> a lot of challenges there, mr. administrator. i want to thank you for your hard work and your insight and experience and i'm looking forward to help achieve the goals you've laid out for us today and still at the same time be a good stewart of the taxpayer funds. i yield back. >> yes, sir. >> thank you very much.
ms. stevens? >> thank you. administrator bridenstine, on march 27th, our house speaker in partnership with our fabulous chairwoman had a reception commemorating the 50th anniversary of landing on the moon in celebration with women's history month. it was held here on the capitol. it included the shining stars, the women mathematicians of america's space program. were you invited to that reception? >> i'm not 100% sure. >> and so i take it, you did not attend? >> i did not attend. >> my colleague asked about the spacesuits and i'm not sure you're aware that christina hammond coke who's a resident of -- excuse me -- is originally from michigan where i represent was intended to go on that --
>> but she does live in galveston. >> that's true. but michigan was really quite excited to have ms. coke go on the trip and she's not -- she was not able to. is it correct that no woman has ever been to the moon, sir? >> that is correct. >> and this was a part of three space walks that were supposed to have taken place and i was wondering if you could extrapolate on those missions and what the intentions of those missions were and because the 29th has sense come and gone who went on that mission and what is expected to take place? >> you're talking about the space walk on the 29th? >> yes. >> it was christina coke and it was nick hague and they were replacing batteries on the space station. >> and did the mission take place? >> it did. >> the walk? >> yes. >> administrator, the budget proposal that we're discussing
here today provides no funding for the office of s.t.e.m. engagement which includes the minority university research and education program, the national space grant and on. these have been long-standing initiatives, so just wondering, given what i was previously asking why the administration what the rational was for cutting these programs and what you intend to do to support women and s.t.e.m. and minorities in s.t.e.m.? >> great question. we support education initiatives for young people through the mission directorates at the agency. earlier i was talking about one that i attended not too long ago which was a first robotics mission or a first robotics competition that i participated in. we support it with engineers and support it with scientists. we encourage young people to get involved in the s.t.e.m. fields. we do all of those things. we do the things -- and, by the way, the programs that you
identified are currently funded and we are using those programs. they're part of the president's co-s.t.e.m. initiative for s.t.e.m. education and we're continuing to advance those very important initiatives. it is also true that we want to direct resources where they can have the most impact for the agency and the country and the budget request we made a determination that some of these other missions for that activity are better and, in fact, if you talk to the folks that are building robots for mars right now, they participated in first robotics, so that shows a direct return and the folks that are doing first robotics now are interested in building robots for mars or pluto or wherever we may be going next. benu. there's a lot of different opportunities there. >> well, you're obviously a significant leader and we are so grateful for your service and your leadership of nasa. i know it was not easy during the shutdown with 95% of your
workforce either not working or working without pay, and i'd like to invite you to exercise your leadership and join the chairwoman and i on occasion to sit down with s.t.e.m. education groups, black girls who code is certainly very significant. later today i'm going to meet with a group called tech lady mafia that has done a lot for women and the sciences and we continue to encourage you to reconsider slashing those programs and also would like to encourage you to support women and s.t.e.m. and get that first woman on the moon for us, sir. thank you. >> yes, ma'am. i will say that in the speech that the vice president gave last week, he was very clear that the next man and the first woman on the moon will both be americans and we look forward to that day and i commit to you now that if you invite me to an event, i'll be happy to come. >> thank you. >> you bet.
>> thank you very much. ms. gonzalez colon? >> thank you, madam chairwoman. i'm honored to be here. i'm the first puerto rican on this committee so i'm really excited to serve along my colleagues on this science and s the biggest radio telescoping in the world for 50 years. second now just to china. mainly been funded by the national science foundation and nasa the program of grants. so having said that, my question
will be, first, i do notice that this budget in terms of the science area is 677 million more than to the one in fiscal year 2017. but i do have the concern that some of the programs, specifically the research in the area for space grants are supposed to be finished. so my first question will be specifically on that regard. how do we know that the program works with more than 150 network affiliates between colleges, universities, museums, and others could be restructured in their education activities and potentially counseling the national space grant college and fellow programs. i do know they need to, nice,
but i would love for you to elaborate on those programs. >> sure. nasa is committed to stem education and very committed to achieving that a better outcome to the united states of america when it comes to producing the next generation scientist technologist, mathematicians, we found a lot of success in doing that. we've made a determination through the budget request that we can make the most impact in that way, and as far as the siebel, i will say we are planning to spend about four and a half million dollars with aris evo this year and ramping up by 2022 about $5 million annually with aris evo. as the capability we think is important and we utilize. >> and really glad to hear that.
as you're aware there are a lot of accomplishment for the 50 or 60 years. i'm on the many sides -- and scientists warned before the research. in the center. my second question will be, puerto rico was devastated by both hurricanes. everybody knows that. did nasa receive all the allocated funds for the recovery of all the nasa facilities in the nation including tornadoes customer. >> i will have to get back to you on that. i'm not 100% sure. if i ticket for the record on make sure i get your correct answer. >> thank you. as you may be aware, stem technology and research is something that i will be pushing forward. so anyway that we can help out and even work to establish more opportunities for kids in college to participate in those programs i'd be more than happy
to work with. having said that you back the bonds of my time. >> thank you very much. >> thank you, madam chair and thank you administrator for join and is here today. i know a lot of my colleagues have talked about the zeroing out of the same engagement in the president's proposed budget into echo those concerns. in particular i want to talk about the space grant program. i represent virginia and in virginia the program is able to leverage the funds that he gets from nasa to give high school students hands-on experience at langley research center. to work on real-life problems alongside nasa scientists. i am sure you're familiar with this program. >> think yes. >> in a very fortunate because i got firsthand experience because my nephew was a participant a couple summers ago and he is now an engineering student at virginia tech and because of his
experience he's joined the design build flight team and are competing nationally. >> that's awesome. >> really does have an impact on the students. >> it does. >> you said in your response to ms. stevens question that you felt nasa believed that you can make just as much as an impact in other areas with other programs, is a ? >> so as far as a university goes, we do a lot of missions with a lot of universities in the universities are grouped very good at engaging young folks in the programs that they are developing. we do a lot of the activity even outside the space grant program. but certainly i understand your point. >> and so, your liaising mostly now with the universities and you don't have an equivalent program for high schoolers to the space grant program at this time ? >> not equivalent to the spacecraft, but we do activities
with high schools all the time when it relates to the robotics competition is a high school competition. nasa spends about four and half million dollars annually investing in the program and we provide scientists and engineers as mentors for the high school students. we do these kinds of activities within the mission directorates. >> but they would necessarily be a weeklong structure program at nasa langley or some like that questioning. >> in some cases, we have activities similar to that. the first robotics competition is multiple days long. but it is not the space grant program. >> very good. switching gears, we often talk about satellites in earth science, but there are other new opportunities for the development of long duration, high-altitude robotic aircraft a flight into the stratosphere encompass a broad range of goals at a much lower cost. one example of that is a solar
powered aircraft which is developed by a roof scientist. are you familiar with that aircraft customer. >> unfamiliar with the world but not the aircraft itself. >> are you familiar with the solar powered aircraft that would fly into the stratosphere and perform a bunch of functions. >> yes. >> i am encouraged by the fact that it can serve as a platform to support a bunch of missions. like monitoring sea level rise, understanding drought conditions on crops, looking at flooding and severe storms. they can do all that at a lower cost than many of the satellite technologies that are out there now. so can you talk about how the mission directorates plans to use these long-duration robotic aircraft capabilities to support your science mission objectives questioning. >> we in fact do currently operate unmanned aerial vehicles for the purpose of science.
we also use crude vehicles within aviation. as far as that specific aircraft, i would be thrilled if you give me a chance to specifically understand what it does and how were a, using it or even habitability to use in the future. >> i tell you for an example, it solar powered so it does not require -- it is a have to come down for refueling and you can just park it and put in a circular pattern and with the right telecommute enter communications payload it could go a long way to help restore telecommunications to the island of puerto rico. >> osher. >> after the stores. there are many different possibilities but also for science. >> a spam. >> is nasa exploring earth science capability with unmanned aircraft? >> absolutely. the answer is yes.
as far as specific missions are not sure. i know we do all kinds of missions with crude aircraft as far as what we do specifically for science with concrete aircraft off to get back to you. >> are you back. >> thank you very much. mr. brooks. >> thank you, madam chairman mrh debris and space is a key challenge with min to mars in international space station. in a number of different space endeavors. i noticed your public was concerning india's testing of a satellite weapon. what can nasa do to try to minimize the amount of space debris, either sponsoring or advocating treaties, is there cleanup mechanisms, what can we do to reduce the danger of astronauts, to astronauts from
space. >> nasa has a role to play in the president space polities under a policy directive three. we develop technology, capabilities will ultimately the commerce department would be responsible for space situational awareness and space traffic management. nasa has a role to play in technology development and capability development. i would also say we have a very different role to play. which is a role -- we are a tool of national power. we are a tool of soft power. i think it's important for people around the world to understand, intentionally creating orbital debris that increases the risk to astronauts is not compatible with human spaceflight. and so, if nasa can play a role
there encouraging people not to engage in these kinds of activities that's an area i think we can benefit the world. >> was there any prior notice from india to the united states concerning their planned antisatellite test and subsequent creation of this potentially dangerous space debris ? >> if there was, i was not aware of it. >> has there been any communications with india, either as military or space agency subsequent to the test questioning. >> i sent a letter to the indian space research organization indicating that the activities were not compatible with human spaceflight. >> now we have various argumen agreements with indiana where we cooperate on space endeavors, do we not questioning. >> with you. >> is there any risk to those cooperative efforts because of india's increase in the quantity of space debris? >> say that one more time.
>> sure. we had cooperative agreements. it's not something were real happy about because it puts our space assets in astronauts are risk. is there any potential reduction of cooperative agreements with india as a result of the increasing space debris that is dangerous to our space efforts? >> the cooperative engagement, no. i'll tell you why. i think it would be -- we don't want to do anything asymmetric. if the train to go to the moon and it's a book of her interest for them to achieve the objective we want to continue to partner with them on the effort. we have not changed any of our cooperative agreements based on the incident. >> entirely different subject. where does the united states stand among nations when it comes to astronautics technology and what policies do we need to ensure our country status as a leader in aeronautics aviation customer.
>> what technology is doing a strike to back where does the united states stand among nations when it comes to aeronautics technology. i give you two questions back to back. >> aeronautics, we as an agency are the lead in a lot of different ways. there's a number of big things. as a demonstrator we want to prove that we can fly across the united states supersonic without creating something that can be destructive to infrastructure and people on the ground. that capability once it's achieved will be transformative for human spaceflight within the atmosphere. when we talk about the x57 program, were talking about an electric aircraft capable of carrying humans and crew. if you judge on the cost of 60% of fuel, then that could be transformative and enable airplanes to fly against productively for profit and
regions of the country that are underserved because the costs are too high. driving down costs increases access aviation capabilities. that the x57 program within aeronautics mission directed. urban air mobility and integrating unmanned systems is a critical capability that we transformative and it's necessary for us to be the world leader in that endeavor. just for competitive reasons around the world. >> the kitchen. i appreciate your answers. >> thank you very much. mr. lamb. >> welcome back mr. bernstein. i know it's been a long morning so we won't keep her too long. you have a lot of questions about the cuts to the same office. and from what i can tell you you suggested that someone at nasa or some group of people with the administration have made a decision that you can more effectively reach out and encourage young people to the
director that is been to the same office. you have the right chris right. >> that is correct. >> who made that decision ? >> we go through an entire process is an agency in a bubbles up from the bottom and then we get the different parts and different agencies make their cases and all the parts make their cases and then we have to make decisions. >> who made the case that the 110 million for the office of stem was not worth spending the share ? who made that case ? >> ultimately the budget request is nasa's budget request. >> in my state of pennsylvania there is a pennsylvania space grant consortium, with the money they were getting from nasa space grant they were giving $4000 scholarships to students who were either juniors or seniors at any accredited pennsylvania college or university.
if they were enrolled in science, technology engineering or math. it was specifically encouraged that women underrepresented minorities and persons with disability apply. all three of the groups are people that nasa would benefit from having more of, right ? >> yes. >> that's an issue we would have across the government. >> absolutely. >> too any of the activities give out $4000 scholarships to students in college customer. >> not that i know of. >> okay. if your budget as you presented it goes into effect, there won't be more students like this in my state getting the $4000 scholarships from nasa as they currently exist, right ? >> that's correct. but i want to make sure that you understand that we will follow the law. and we are following the law. currently the programs are the law. we will continue during that. >> but i'm talking about in future cases as a result of the budget that you're requesting that program would no longer
exist ? >> correct. >> you agree that there's a difference between giving $74000 in tuition and learning your scientist to a first robotics competition, right ? is a real difference in the life of the recipient between those two things. >> the reality is that is not a cheap endeavor. so nasa provides direct financial resources out of the science mission to the tune of about four and half million dollars for those activities. it enables children, high schoolers, young folks, enables them to participate in ways they otherwise could not have participated. >> i commend you for that. i met with the first teams in my district and it's an exciting program. the four and a half million pails and compared country comparison to the 110. it seems to me it may be penny wise and pound foolish to eliminate $100 million out of a
$21 billion budget. do you think that 110 million is it going to be the difference between whether we get to mars in the moon or not? >> no. absolutely do not. >> kids are hanging on by thread in college. especially the savanna. pennsylvania is an expensive place to go to college. our state colleges are extremely stressed. $4000 could be the difference between staying and dropped out. especially for someone who comes from a background where the family is not wealthy, which is a lot of people. so i really would encourage you to think this winter and another request has been made. congress will do what it's going to do but this means a lot to people in my stay in future years i hope it gets a little more respect and thought from this administration. >> i understand. >> thank you. i yield back. >> thank you very much. mr. sherman. >> thank you. okay. i know others have had a similar line of questions about us the
last and orion. you said the sls, orion and the ground systems are the backbones of the exposure program starting at the moon and beyond. >> yes. >> my question concerning the budget. which seem to contradict your statement. after years of delay, in part due to emphasis request. in continuing resolutions sls, orion and the respective ground systems that have made significant strikes. strides which will bring unprecedented expiration capacity to the nation and the rest of the world. the engines are ready, capsules are being tested, boosters are ready, packed in infrastructure and completion. there should be a role music there. the trip administration delivers
a budget that aims to halt and slows this progress. is there a rocket and crew capsule that exist with the same or greater capacity as sls in orion? >> no, sir, as you correctly said in the beginning and i still believe 100% that is the backbone of our ability to get to the moon. it's a backbone of our space expiration capabilities. what we did in the budget request is we delayed for a period of time to expiration of a proceed speci because we've been having challenge was the core stage. we have to get the core stage complete at a we can sflie the core stage with what we call the and t orion crew capsule with european service mod yuell and take that in fact to the moon and we can take it to the moon withe humans.
the exploration upper stage is absolutely important for the future. but given where we are right now with sls we wanted to focus all the resources specifically on the core stage. >> but you seem also to be seeking money for a rival approach that may not yield a launch orti lander. what money in the -- what alternatives to sls and orion are you seekingon funding for i >> so right now we -- we did a two-week study on commercial alternatives to the sls. andway we found is that none of those commercial alternatives are going to help us save on costs or improve the schedule. >> so this is a two-week study. >> we did a two-week study. we learned -- i learned a number of weekss ago that the sls was going to be delayed again. i made a determination that we need to find an alternative approach. we looked at all of the
commercial options heavy lift rockets. going to the moon is a extremel hard. it's a long distance and the mass we need to send there is a lot. and so the sls and the orion crew capsule are the tools by which to achieve that objective. commercial solutions in the future. could be viable. in fact they will probably be necessary but at this point sls and orion are the best approaches to stay on schedule. >>o so contrary to my understanding of the budget request -- and i may not be reading it with as keen an eye yours, you're full speed ahead on sls and orion. but the up he were stage of request -- you're -- the so-called eus -- you're going slow on only for technical and not budgetary reasons. >> we made a determination that we needed to focus on the core
stage. and until that core stage is complete the exploration upper stage ultimately doesn't have any value. because it needs that core stage to be effective. go in parallel? why do you need -- i mean, you're developingar capsules in parallel with rocket engines, suits in parallel with capsules. why is folking on the first stage causing to you halt efforts on the second stage. >> ultimately because we have -- we're making determinations based on the constraints of the budget. >> so how much does in slow down the process? you got to first get the first stage sright. and then -- then you'll wake up and say now we have to do the second restage. >> it is. >> what delays >> are we talking about. >> it's very possible next year you'll see the exploration uppel stage in the budge request. it's very possible given that we now have an agenda to get to the moon in 2024 in the coming days you might soo that as the
architecture to skrermt the moon mission with an amendment to the request. >> so we may see an amendment to the budget request regarding the first and second stage. >> it is possible, yes, sir. >> i yield back.ut >> thank you very much. i now recognize miss hill. >> thank you madam chair. mr. bridenstine. nasa's workforce has experienced significant ageing in the last 2425 years. according to the space foundation, the space report in 1993, 34% of nasa the employeesy under 35 years old and 15% -- old are than 54. by 2018 the numbers have flipped. just 15% of nasa's workforce is under 35 years old while 35% are older than 54. we're seeing this play out in my district. do you any concerns about thele aging of the nasa workforce? and what do you plan to do about it. >> yes, ma'am. 100%. we have a bow wave of retirement
on the horizon. we're making sure we are having people to fill ine and take the roles ofas every level of leadership in the nasa organization. in order to achieve that, we are working with universities, with missions, and other capabilities to make sure that when people graduate from college they not only have the academic capabilities but they also have hands-on experience actually developing m missions for nasa. so that's one way that we're working to make sure that we're filling in for the retirements. we're also working through internship programs andge in fa middle -- middle career kind of programs to get folks focused on maybe joining nasa. >> thank you. i guess thatt kind of relates t mr. lamb's question of how the reduction in scholarships might be impacting that. >> yes. again, so we work with universities in a whole host of different ways through the mission directorates. and we intend to keep doing
that. and they're a key piece of how we're filling the retirement coming. ee k >> do you have reall projection laid out in termsms of how the impact looks? and is there is there a way to be involved in that process. >> we do. i'd be happy to get with our h.r. folks and sit down and talk with you about it in detail. >> thank you. and then the second question is, according to the space foundations -- the space report between 2011 and 2017, the average nasa salary decreased 10% in real terms.bo we also heard -- i have many nasa employees in my district who told me about the impacts thatat the shutdown had on mora and on people seeking other outside employment, especially when we have massive aerospace industry in our district. that's outside of the government. losing you concerned atth and not attracting highly skilled scientific and technicar personnel because of the decreasing salaries and competition from the private sector and instability in government pay?t >> this is a real issue for nasa. and we're dealing with it every
day, especially in our -- a lot of our centers are in expensive areas, ames, for example, is a very -- a very expensive place to live t out in the san francio bay area.of it's where a lot of talent is. it's a good place to be. we can take advantage of all of thek talent. at the same time our employees make a i government paycheck. which is not competitive with the area in which they live. the folks working at nasa do it because they're absolutely love it. committed to when do it's unique in the world and everybody knows it and they want to be a part of it. but certainly we are weather through some significant challenges when it comes to how we compensate our workforce. >> i'd be interested in working with your h.r. folks on that too and looking at different compensation mechanism. >>n absolutely. >> lastly, vice president pence said that ife nasa can't land o theio moon by 2024 we need to change the organization, not the
mission. what is theo changing the organization mean to you? do you see this as a threat to breaking apart nasa or otherwise drastically reorganizing the way space is complemented if the executive branch. >> noz it as that. i know what he is talking about. he is talking about the fact that you know, there has been maybe a sense that since -- dsh it's been a long time we have flown humans into space. the retirement of the shuttle was 2011. a the gap wasn't supposed to be this long. the question is is there kpasantsy? we were fighting kpasantsy. he wants to get us moving faster. i think there is aic big difference -- going backhe to organizational structure there is a big difference between operations which is what we have on the international space station right now. commercial resupply, commercial crew and operations on the international space station. there is that part of nasa. and then there is the development, the brapdew ewe things, the big rocket to get to moon.
fwaetway, lunar landers all those capabilities don't exist and soon will. that's development. that's different than operations. so what we're working on now is a plan where we would actually have a mission directorate focused on development ande a mission directorate focused on n operations. we don't call it the development mission directorate because development is not a mission. we call it the moon to mars mission directorate. and so we're working through right now therd process by whic we could have that online in short order to help us achieve a faster g lunar landing. >> okay. and i appreciate that since my greater was ans. engineer on th space shuttle in the apollo series. >> thank you. >> wow. >> before we close the hearing i want to thank you our witness very much for your long, steadfast testimony this morning. and to remind, you can now be dismissed. and i want the remaining committee members to understand that they -- oh.
i dismissed a little too early. >> okay. come right in. mr. schwartz is recognized. >> i almost got away. did.u you o did, mr. bridenstine. apologies. it's nice to actually occupy your office. so thank you for. >> 216 canon. >>m 216 canon. >> the best. >> thank you more keeping that warm for me process. i represent the district that starts north of the cape and heads upce to -- heads up to jacksonville withn emery reidel at the center. >> oh, ogood. >> space is g in our dna. and we're just so excited and thrilled with the growth of commercial space in particular but just also the kind of -- the resurgence of what's going on. i just left secretary wilson and
general and talking about the future of space there from the military side. so administrator, as you know, the kennedy space center in site of the world capable -- just really incredible of launching astronauts into deep space, just an incredible capability. do you know -- trying to think how the best way to really phrase this question. can you just talk to me about the vice president's directive. >> yeah. for the moon and apologies if you have gone over this already. >> oh, no. >> it's critical to i think growth in florida and where we are going with it. and particularly how you plan to do it within the time line. >> right. > given your budget requests and the perceived at least disconnects there. >> absolutely. so going back to -- i think it
was february of 2017, the president signed space policy directive one.ds in that space policy directive he said we are going to the moon, sustainably. >> um-hum. >> this time when we go we're going toit stay. doesn't mean we'll have a permanent human presence on the surface of the moonn necessaril. but it means we'll have permanent access to the surface of the moon with pd humans and landers and robots and rovers.rt we're going, go sustain by, go with commercial partners, international partners and retire risk, crew capability and take that to mars. so that i think was the foundation of what the vice president announced last week. we put together plan to achieve that objective given the budget constraints and came up with a 2028 landing date on the surface of thet moon. the president and the vice president determined thatti the wanted to go faster than that. they gave us an objective to meet that deadline of 2024.
which is of course putsed -- wee going to probably need differenl resources than we had previously anticipated. but inc will tell you the agenc nasa is exceptionally excited about in t opportunity. i would imagine down at kennedy where you are there is a lot of really excited folks right now. andex i think at the same time t just a level of excitement but people know that we can achieve it. we know we can achieve it. and so the goal here is to -- is to go to the moon and go quickly but also go sustainably. and so that's what we're working on right now to develop what that man would look like. all of the elements are there from the plan we had prevail from 2028 landing. all the elements interest there. some we need to tort moving forward which means we need different resources. in the coming weeks i'm talking to this committee and others about what the resources look like. >> thank you and the time i have
remaining -- the wujt proposes the termination of the nasa the office of education and zeros out the education account. within the office of education. the aerospace research and development career program that houses the national space graft college and fellowship program. that's incredibly important to emery riddle with other universities that are focused on s.t.e.m. but particularly with emery riddle. we educate world class s.t.e.m. talent. i think the race into space and the 21st century space race is really an ice breakerer for pulling the united states back in the world leadership role in s.t.e.m. how does the president's budget request impact that space program -- the space grant program? >> so the space grant program specifically would not be funded in the president's budget request. it is true when we think about how we go about inspiring the next generation we do it through s.t.e.m. activities. we are looking at dug doing that
through the mission directorates which we have a number of programs through the mission directorates to blish that end state. so, again, prioritizing what's the biggest impact for the agency, what's the biggest impact for the country, we determined that it was best to not fund the space grant program but at the end of the day -- did right nows it funded. we are following the law and committed to following the law. >> madam chairwoman pb thank you. i appreciate your forbearance. thank you. thaerns administrator. >> thank you. >> thank you very much. and thanks to our witness. you've been an excellent witness. we appreciate you being here. and i think that is our last questioner. so the record will remain open for two weeks for additional statements from the members. and for any additional questions the committee may ask the witness. and the witness now is excused. >> thank you, ma'am. >> the meeting is adjourned.
tonight on american history tv and cspan3 from our american art i facts series, a tour of baseball americana exhibit at the library of congress. the curator shows us the early yet mention of baseball in books and diary after the american ruffles. also recently discovered precivil war documents known as baseball's magna carta containing the basic rules and organization of the game that's played to this day. that's tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern here on cspan3. i think the legacy of rochester is really ongoing. the more rochester embraces its role as a city of compassion,
healing, wellness, hospitality, i think our mission really is to make people feel welcome, that this is a home away from home. >> cspan's city's tour on the road exploring the american story. this weekend we take to you rochester, minnesota with the help of our spectrum cable partners, located 90 minutes south of minneapolis, row ch chester has been the home of mayo clinic since founding in 1864 >> mayo clyne being is a good anybody in row sches per. it helped rochester achieve international recognition. in many respects mayo clinic would have never happened except for the city of rochester. it was the small town, the intimate nature of rochester that the allowed this incubator to expand that became a world presence in medicine. >> and we'll speak with local authors in this city of 115,000. >> sno. ♪ come gather around people, wherever you roam. >> most people think bob dylan
is leftist or somehow associated with the hippie movement of the 1960s or something like that. and the voice of the generation of the 1960s which was a label he detested. i would also say you really can't say he is exactly left or right. i think most people have a misconception about what bob dylan is. >> watch cspan's city's tour of rochester, minnesota. this saturday at noon eastern on cspan2's book tv and sunday at 2:00 p.m. on american history tv on cspan3. working with our cable affiliates as we explore the american story. this weekend with, on cspan, sunday at 6:30 p.m., historians authors and community activists discuss t history and intersection of islamaphobia, anti-semitism, and white supremacy. and at 9:00, president george w.
bush and former defense secretary robert gates talk about governing and leadership. on book tv on cspan2 at 9:00 a.m. person on afterwards. american enterprise institute arthur brooks on his book, "love your enemies." and american history on cspan3 a asset 4:30 eastern backup former secretary of state consequences conned leisura rice and the changing of role of foreign policy over the last 100 years. watch this weekend on the cspan networks. the national commission on military national and public service held a hearing earlier this year on proposals for mandatory service for americans. we'll hear from former white house advisers, from the reagan and clinton administrations. i'd like to welcome ery